MARKO SVICEVIC UP’s Department of Facilities Management, in collaboration with UP’s Department of Residence Affairs and Accommoda...Read more
UP have had a poor 2015/2016 season in the Absa Premiership. The team currently sits 15th on the log in one of the two relegation spots – only a point above last-placed Maritzburg United and with four victories to their name out of the 23 games they have currently played.
A promising start to the season, which included a 3-0 win over Polokwane City and a 1-1 draw with Kaizer Chiefs, has slowly petered out with the team losing 14 games in the season. What has been highlighted as a major issue for the team is the lack of goal-scoring abilities, accompanied by the inability to keep clean sheets.
UP have scored 15 goals this season – the lowest on the table – and have conceded twice that, leaving the side with a goal difference of -15. The lack of goals is illustrated through the performances of star striker Thabo Mynamane, who has only scored five goals this season, and the recent addition of experienced former Orlando Pirates forward Lennox Bacela, who has only scored once this season.
Many have also blamed the poor performance of the team on the lack of solidarity within the club, which traces back to 2014 when Steve Barker left the club for Amazulu, and is displayed in the recent sacking of his replacement, Sammy Troughton. Troughton was replaced by former South African international Shaun Bartlett in January.
UP-Tuks took a big leap in becoming Varsity Athletics champions after they placed first in the delayed first leg of the competition. The first round of the competition took place on 18 March at the University of Johannesburg stadium. The performance that ultimately caught the attention of onlookers belonged to men’s 400 m hurdler Leroux Hamman. Hamman broke the 50-second barrier for the first time in his career, securing a bronze finish with a time of 49.99 seconds and added to UP’s victory of 15 496 points. Hamman spoke to Perdeby about the season and his achievement ahead of the second leg that took place on 7 April in Stellenbosch.
Just over two months into the year and TuksGolf’s Demi Flanagan has already left her mark on the golfing community. She recently returned home to compete in the Border Championship at the East London Golf Club, claiming victory for the fourth successive time. Perdeby spoke to the talented athlete to reflect on her recent achievement and plans for the rest of the year.
Were there any particular challenges that you had to overcome during the championship?
The biggest challenge was to make sure that I continually believed in myself [so that I would] build more confidence and play the best I could.
After winning the championship for the fourth time, is there any particular skill or strength that you attribute your consistency to?
It’s actually a combination of everything, but I would say my putting is really good. That’s where you win the game and I knew that I had to work particularly hard on that.
Varsity Cup returned on Monday 14 March at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, following an agreement reached in Cape Town last week between the committees of all universities involved and the sponsors of the tournament, Steinhoff and FNB. A decision was made to resume the tournament, with the condition that all matches be played at neutral venues.
FNB Stadium and Newlands will be the grounds that are set to host most of the fixtures, many of which will be broadcast live on SuperSport channel 201. The venues of the remaining group stage matches of the tournament are still to be confirmed and will be held on 21, 24 and 28 March. Although fans were able to attend Monday’s catch-up rounds at the FNB Stadium, it is unclear at this stage if they will be able to spectate every game. TuksRugby executive Gert van Coller commented on the decision and said, “In light of the tension that surrounds campuses across the country, Varsity Cup cannot take the risk of hosting matches in the same way that it did before. This is a bittersweet moment. The tournament must go on as an opportunity for the players involved, but at the cost of the enjoyment of a live game [at local sports grounds] for the supporters.”
It’s been a rocky start to the season for UP-Tuks in the Varsity Cup rugby tournament. The recent postponement of the tournament will certainly give teams the opportunity to head back to the drawing board and assess their performances so far, and possibly make the necessary changes to improve their chances of the title.
Perdeby spoke to UP-Tuks captain Ruan Steenkamp about the way forward for UP-Tuks.